Before you start reading the various sample answers for improving IELTS Speaking Part 1, it is essential that you must be aware of the most important tips and strategies as they will lay down the rules and explain to you what you must do and what you must avoid doing during the test.
“I understand the question but I don’t know what to say!”
I’ve heard too many people saying that they don’t know what they could say to express themselves in Speaking.
This post will exactly tell you how can you logically construct your answer and speak in IELTS Speaking Part 1 with tips such as:
- KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
- DON’T BE BORING
- DON’T RECITE PRE-PREPARED ANSWERS
- VOICE – THE MOST POTENT WEAPON IN YOUR ARSENAL
- DESCRIBE, GIVE DETAILED ANSWERS
- DEVELOP + CONNECT YOUR THOUGHTS
- KNOW HOW TO PREPARE
- LEARN WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE TEST
- BE CLEAR ABOUT HOW SPEAKING ASSESSMENT WORKS
- THREE LANGUAGE STRATEGIES
- MASTER THE MOST POWERFUL WORDS FOR THE TEST
- AVOID SOME COMMON MISTAKES
Now let’s put all these 12 Powerful Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 1 into application.
Tip #1 – KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
The speaking part 1, 2 and 3 of the test is based on communication. Keep the conversation going.
Whenever you talk to somebody, you like to have your questions answered fully, don’t you? Well, here it is the same, except that you are the one answering questions this time: questions about yourself or things that you have experienced.
PUT ACROSS YOUR POINT OF VIEW．
Tip #2 – DON’T BE BORING
Another tip for IELTS Speaking Part 1 would be, to make talks interesting. Don’t give extremely short answers in the whole Speaking module. For example,
Would you like to study overseas? “Maybe…” ❌
Maybe.. actually I’ve not planned yet. But since I aspire to become a Doctor, I would most likely go to U.S for my further studies. ✅
How often do you read the newspaper? “Sometimes…” ❌
Sometimes.. But not everyday! Usually on weekends, I get some free time to read The Hindu. It’s a popular English newspaper representing real power of Journalism. ✅
Are you a student? “Yes…” ❌
Yes, I am currently doing graduation at Thapar University. I enrolled into the Engineering course last year and it has been a wonderful journey so far. ✅
Do you have a mobile phone? “Of course…” ❌
Of course! I do have a cellphone. Personally, mobiles have now become an integral part of our everyday living. I can not live without mobile even for a second. ✅
Keep in mind that examiners are going to interview MANY, MANY students in one day. They do not want to ask you “Why?” and “How?” all the time.
You should make their job easier by giving complete answers. In other words, DON’T BE LAZY！DON’T BE BORING！
Tip #3 – DON’T RECITE PRE-PREPARED ANSWERS
Do not try to be oversmart! The examiners will catch you. They are trained to perceive it when a student repeats something by heart. They will try to trick you if you are trying to recite.
BE SPONTANEOUS！Plus, when you get to Australia or Canada or wherever you are going abroad, you won’t be able to recite when talking to people.
STUDY SMART, PRACTICE SMART.
Tip #4 – VOICE – THE MOST POTENT WEAPON IN YOUR ARSENAL
English is a lively language, with special emphasis (stress) on syllables and words. Use your voice to pass on your feelings. You can stress the important words to express emotions.
This will make your speech sound more spontaneous and natural.
Tip #5 – DESCRIBE, GIVE DETAILED ANSWERS
The IELTS speaking part 1 is actually very short: around 4-5 minutes. You should try to GIVE PRECISE BUT DETAILED ANSWERS in order to show off your vocabulary and fluency.
“I’m from Chandigarh.” WHERE IS CHANDIGARH LOCATED?
“I am a student.” WHERE DO YOU STUDY? SINCE WHEN?
“I like the weather in my hometown.” WHY? WHEN?
GIVE INFORMATION = BE INTERESTING
By doing so, you will realize you can talk at length, and this will give you confidence. You don’t need to use very long sentences. Short ones are okay, but learn how to DESCRIBE EVERYTHING. It is just practice. The more you describe, the faster you will realize the same words always come up:
You see, I will not give you so many big chunk of words to learn. However, when it comes to these 7 words for these 3 groups: you should REMEMBER THEM and you should LEARN HOW TO USE THEM.
Let me tell you about my father: he’s extremely considerate and thoughtful. In addition, He’s so generous and helpful anyone in need.
I went to Manali in May. The weather was pleasant and the view up there was spectacular; really impressive.
Two months ago, we celebrated my brother’s birthday. It was a memorable party and everyone had a blast.
Tip #6 – DEVELOP + CONNECT YOUR THOUGHTS
How are you today? “I’m fine, thank you.”
When the examiner asks this question, most candidates simply answer that they are fine, but let me tell you.. it’s not appropriate, and it’s too short. You are undoubtedly missing a great opportunity.
In order to be interesting and to give details, you need to develop your answers. ALWAYS GIVE MORE info, and be precise. CONNECT YOUR SENTENCES with these linking words：
… and …
… but …
… so …
… because …
I’m fine, thank you, and you? ＝YOU ARE BORING!
I’m doing well, thank you. But I must admit that I feel a bit nervous… because this is my first time taking this test, and it is extremely important to score well. ＝KUDOS! YOU SPEAK ENGLISH.
For most IELTS questions, you will have more than one thing to say. Learn how to use:
I love my hometown for many reasons. First of all, I was born and raised here and all of my
relatives and most of my friends live here. So I feel at ease living in Chandigarh. In addition, I find the weather here in the North very pleasant because it’s warm all year round. On top of this, the urban lifestyle here is stunning. It’s a mix of culture and flavors．It’s so appealing. I highly recommend the sea food to you. And although many people complain about the cost of living, I know it’s not as bad as in many other cities.
You will find hundreds of similar examples on our website.
Tip #7 – KNOW HOW TO PREPARE
Another valuable tip would definitely be knowing the right way to prepare for IELTS Speaking Part 1.
- Read as much as possible: news articles on the Internet on a daily basis, IELTS textbooks, magazines, anything and everything you found written in English.
- Work on your listening: because if you don’t understand the questions, you can’t answer them. Watch movies with English subtitles (NO HINDI, CHINESE OR VIETNAMESE please!), listen to the BBC talk shows on the Internet, and get some material for IELTS listening.
- Find a partner, and ask each other questions: This website has plenty of questions categorized in different sections. Jump from one topic to another. You need at least 40 minutes of pair work in order to be efficient.
- Be spontaneous: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone does that. I have been speaking English every day for the last 15 years and I still get confused with some prepositions or the intonations in words I rarely use.
Tip #8 – LEARN WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE TEST
In IELTS Speaking Part 1, the examiner will ask you very straightforward questions. It is the introductory part of the test. The examiner will ask you 3 or 4 questions about one topic, and then move to another one.
You are expect to talk about yourself, your professional situation, your studies (now or in the past), your family, your hometown, your hobbies, or your daily routine.
Develop your answers, give details, be interesting, and everything will be fine. The questions are not tricky. Simply stick to the question, and show the examiner you can talk. Don’t make things complicated.
Tip #9 – BE CLEAR ABOUT HOW SPEAKING ASSESSMENT WORKS
The examiner will evaluate each candidate according to Four linguistic areas:
- Fluency: You should be able to speak at length. You must develop your answers without hesitating too much or pausing too often. Always go into detail and explain everything to the examiner. In order to gain confidence and fluency, YOU MUST PRACTICE.
- Coherence: Always make sure that your answers must be coherent or logical. “Do you like sports?” “No, I don’t like sports because it makes me tired.” And then 20 seconds later… “Do you ever play basketball?” “Yes, I often play basketball with my friends. It’s a lot of fun.”= ILLOGICAL!
- Lexical Resource: You should be able to talk about wide range of topics. Try to learn a few words for each topic given on our website. Additionally, the best way for you to improve your vocabulary is to LEARN SYNONYMS（2 words which have similar meanings. Example: rich＝wealthy＝well-off). By learning synonyms, you will avoid repeating yourself.
- Grammatical Range & Accuracy: Pay attention to tenses (PAST TENSES specifically) – I went, I did, I gave, I wrote… and TRY TO USE MODALS as much as possible (might, may, should, have to, can, could.）
Tip #10 – THREE LANGUAGE STRATEGIES
IT’S A GOOD CHANCE TO… ＝ IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO…
Whenever you are talking about something you enjoy doing, you can use the above phrases to express the benefits. By using these phrases you will explain as if the question was “Why is it good?” or “How is it beneficial?”
How important is it for families to eat together?
It’s extremely important because dinner time is a great chance for everyone to get together and talk. You know, nowadays, parents are busy with their job, students with their studies, so it’s essential to eat together in order for relatives to catch up with each other. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen family ties
TO GET TO DO (Something)
This is an idiomatic phrase Englishmen use very often in cases like:
How often do you speak English?
I get to speak English every day at school＝I get a chance to speak English every day at school.
Do you live with your parents?
Yes, I am still in high school, and it’s not a boarding school. So I am living with my parents. But my father works in another city, so I only get to see him once a month．
(Something) BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSER TOGETHER
In many questions, the examiner will ask you about the advantages of certain things. It’s easy for you to say:
– Music can bring people closer together.
– Laughing can definitely bring people together.
– Good food can bring people together.
– English can bring the world closer together.
– Sports can without a doubt bring people together.
– Festivals bring people closer together.
Tip #11 – MASTER THE MOST POWERFUL WORDS FOR THE TEST
This IELTS Speaking Part 1 Tips and Strategies post was written in order to give test candidates as many examples and ideas as possible to show them how they could develop their answers. Remember that the Speaking Part 1 is going to be very short (around 4-5 minutes). As a result, you should seize every opportunity to show your range of vocabulary.
Here are the some most powerful words for you to describe your actions and feelings:
difficult = challenging = complex = complicated = tough
I find it tough to express myself in English.
important = necessary = essential = fundamental = vital = indispensable.
Good pronunciation is vital.
interesting = fascinating = captivating
This book is absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to finish it!
useful = practical = handy = convenient
I bought this electronic dictionary. It’s very handy in class.
boring = dull = monotonous = tiresome
You sound so boring! Your voice always sounds monotonous.
good for your future/health/studies = beneficial or positive
Going to the America will be beneficial to me.
nice = pleasant = enjoyable
I had dinner with Stacy last night. We had a pleasant conversation about…
popular = common = widespread = well-accepted
English is very widespread nowadays, even in Asia.
fashionable = trendy = cool = stylish = in
I bought this cell phone because I find it very stylish.
amazing = stunning = splendid = spectacular
I love this place. The view is stunning！
happy = pleased = satisfied = glad = delighted = ecstatic = overjoyed
I was delighted to hear from her！
exciting = thrilling = awesome
I tried skiing for the first time last weekend. It was absolutely thrilling！
Tip #12 – AVOID SOME COMMON MISTAKES
Avoiding simpler but critical mistakes is probably one of the easiest to practice IELTS Speaking Part 1 tips. The mistakes that we often make are like:
more better ❌
The chocolate cake is (much) better than the apple pie in this restaurant. ✅
In China some people are very traditional. ✅
Women is…men is…❌
Women are more meticulous. ✅
foreigner programs ❌
My brother like to watch foreign (adjective) programs. ✅
I will go to there. ❌
I will go there. ✅
The telephone is a great tool to communication. ❌
The telephone is a great tool for communication. ✅
Parents find it difficult to communication with their child. ❌
Parents find it difficult to communicate with their child. ✅
most of foreigners… ❌
Most foreigners would love to try spicy Paneer Tikka. ✅
Most women want a rich lifestyle. ✅
My English is not well. ❌
My English is not good. ✅
I hope you find those IELTS Speaking Part 1 Tips and Strategies useful. To know more about the test, including Part 1 sample answers, check out our Speaking Section.
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All The Best !